An 8-year-old girl was rescued from a deep well in her backyard in Riverside County on Friday, Nov. 13, and her family is speaking about the frightening ordeal for the first time.

“I thought I wasn’t going to make it cause I was scared,” 8-year-old Lilly Faith Gadbois said.

It’s no wonder 8-year-old Lilly was scared, she fell down a roughly 50-foot well.

Michelle Gadbois, the 8-year-old’s mom, said, “It was the most terrifying experience I’ve ever lived through.”

Lilly’s mother says she knew something was wrong when Lilly didn’t respond on a Walkie Talkie.

“So, we are all searching everywhere and my son went over to the area of the well which we didn’t know existed until this happened,” Michelle Gadbois said.

Lilly had fallen through a piece of wood that covered the hole. She was so far down that her mother says she could barely hear her.

“Thank god the water broke her fall,” the mom says.

Luckily, Lilly was able to stay afloat by hanging onto a pipe. The frightened girl kept telling her mom how much she loved her family.

“‘Mommy, I love you so much,’ and it was at that point where you realize it could have been a lot worse,” Michelle Gadbois said.

Within minutes, Calfire Riverside County firefighters from Station 68 arrived at the home.

“Quick thinking, we dropped a rope down to her, coached her on how to wrap the rope around herself clip into the rope and hang onto the rope,” Jason Gumbert, Calfire engineer, recalled the rescue. “She was ready to come up.”

After about 45 minutes inside the well, Lilly was finally brought up to safety. Although she suffered scrapes all over her body, she wasn’t seriously injured.

And she also had this to say to her rescuers, “Thank you for getting me out of there.”

Michelle Gadbois also has a message to others, especially people who live in rural areas: Watch out for hidden dangers.

“I never really thought of a well,” she said. “We are on city water, not well water, so I didn’t have any clue.”


By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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